Simmel essays

His father, Eduard Simmel, a convert to Roman Catholicismhad founded a successful chocolate factory, Felix und Sarottilater Sarotti Confections, and was a prosperous businessman. His mother came from a Jewish family who had converted to the Lutheran Church.

Simmel essays

Sections 2 and 3 of these notes are the parts most applicable to the discussion of interaction and community in Sociology While Simmel is generally not regarded as being as influential in sociology as were Marx, Weber, Durkheim, or even Parsons, several of the early United States sociologists studied with or were influenced by Simmel.

This was especially true of those who developed the symbolic interaction approach including writers in the Chicago school, a tradition that dominated United States sociology in the early part of this century, before Parsons.


Georg SimmelGermany was born in Berlin and received his doctorate in He was of Jewish ancestry and was marginalized within the German academic system. Only in did Simmel obtain a regular academic appointment, and this appointment was in Strasbourg, far from Berlin. In spite of these problems, he wrote extensively on the nature of association, culture, social structure, the city, and the economy.

His writings were read by Durkheim and Weber, and Simmel contributed greatly to sociology and European intellectual life in the early part of this century. Simmel combines ideas from all of the three major classical writers and was influenced by Hegel and Kant.

Simmel essays

When Simmel discusses social structures, the city, money, and modern society, his analysis has some similarities to the analyses of Durkheim problem of individual and societyWeber effects of rationalizationand Marx alienation.

Simmel considered society to be an association of free individuals, and said that it could not be studied in the same way as the physical world, i.

Simmel began his inquiries from the bottom up, observing the smallest of social interactions and attempting to see how larger-scale institutions emerged from them. In doing so, he often noticed phenomena that other theorists missed. For example, Simmel observed that the number of parties to an interaction can effect its nature.

The interaction between two people, a dyad, will be very different from that which is possible in a three-party relationship, or triad. Simmel considered the size of the group in which social action takes place to be a factor in determining the nature of the group.

Here he was concerned with the form of the group, rather than the content of the interaction. In the dyad, a relationship can be considered relatively straightforward, in that each individual can present themselves to the other in a way that maintains their identity, and either party can end the relationship by withdrawing from it.

Various strategies emerge in the triad that change the form of interaction from the dyad.

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In the triad, there may be strategies that lead to competition, alliances, or mediation. The triad is likely to develop a group structure independent of the individuals in it, whereas this is less likely in the dyad Ritzer, p.

As group size increases even more, Ritzer notes that "the increase in the size of the group or society increases individual freedom. The small circle of early or premodern times, firmly closed against the neighbouring strange, or in some way antagonistic circles The self-preservation of very young associations requires the establishment of strict boundaries and a centripetal unity.

This implies much greater possibility of individual freedom and flexibility, with the common culture and form of association greatly weakened. The metropolis or city becomes the location where the division of labour is the greatest and where this individuality and individual freedom is most expanded.

At the same time Simmel notes that for the individual this creates the "difficulty of asserting his own personality within the dimensions of metropolitan life.

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The growth of the city, the increasing number of people in the city, and the "brevity and scarcity of the inter-human contacts granted to the metropolitan man, as compared to the social intercourse of the small town" Farganis, p. Subjective culture is "the capacity of the actor to produce, absorb, and control the elements of objective culture.

In an ideal sense, individual culture shapes, and is shaped by, objective culture. The problem is that objective culture comes to have a life of its own.Essay on Georg Simmel Georg Simmel (born Berlin, died Strasbourg) achieved importance as a sociologist in the second half of the twentieth century.

He was a friend and contemporary of the German sociologist, Max Weber and a colleague of the renowned philosopher, Wilhelm Dilthey. Simmel was a member of a discussion group that included Georg Lukics and Max Weber, both of whom reveal their serious consideration of Simmel's ideas in their own works.

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Simmel taught us that the world is not fair.

Even though he was a brilliant man and had a lot to offer the world, he was not able to because of racism and stupid people. Marx thought that society could be a great thing, but at the same time it could hold people back and make a lot of people miserable.

Simmel expressed many of his ideas in essays on a wide range of subjects, including art and literary criticism, women's rights, and city life. Critical Reception Simmel's broad scope of interests and lack of systematic methodology has posed the greatest challenge to both his critics and his admirers.

Essay on Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Simmel: the Individual & Society Words | 15 Pages. Each of the four classical theorists Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Simmel had different theories of the relationship between society and the individual.

Georg Simmel Critical Essays -